THURSDAY, JULY 17TH – STAGE 12 – 185.5km
Tour de France Says:
A second transition stage which will come down to a tug-of-war between breakaway specialists and the sprinters. It is worth noting that, although this Tour de France will have lots of short, bumpy stages, it has also got something for the green jersey contenders. They will have at least eight opportunities to duke it out, including this stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to the Beaujolais hills in Saint-tienne. Who will triumph in the old capital of cycling? Looking back on last year’s Tour, Kittel has the edge, but I and others think Cavendish can still go very fast. He raced too much in 2013, but he has been smart enough not to repeat the same mistake this season.
Intermediate sprint Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-tienne 185.5KM
- Km 39.5 – ROMAN?CHE-THORINS
Last km Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-tienne 185.5KM
The Ain Prefecture awaited the 21st century to welcome the Tour de France and witness, in 2002, the first stage win of the future Green Jersey, Thor Hushovd.
Five years later, another sprinter, Tom Boonen, lifted his arms to the sky and also captured the Green Jersey that would stay on his shoulders all the way to Paris. In recent years, on the 2012 Criterium du Dauphin, Bradley Wiggins had sealed his overall success by claiming a time-trial that was to finish in Bourg-en-Bresse.
Stage town for the 3rd time
Population : 39,900 inhabitants (Burgiens), 73,400 inhabitants in the 15 communes of the Bourg-en-Bresse Agglomeration
Economy : Main centre for heavy goods vehicles in France, Second largest region in Europe for industrial bodywork, 3,500 businesses in the agglomeration, agri-business centre, campus with 3,500 students, Exhibition centre
Culture : Royal monastery in Brou registered in the Centre des monuments nationaux, timbered houses, H2M (contemporary art space), La Tannerie (current music scene), theatre, Music Conservatory. Festivals: ? la folie pas du tout, les Ain’pertinentes (bienniel d’Art citadin), Les temps Chauds (world music), Saturdays in town (summer performances in the city).
Sport : USBPA rugby (Pro D2), JL basketball (Pro B), FCBP football (National), International Show Jumping, Tour de l’Ain (cycling)
Specialities : Bresse chicken (AOC), Giraudet’s quenelles, bleu de Bresse cheese, maux bressans (jewels)
Sustainable Development : ‘smart routes’ to explore the city by bike, exchange platforms between different modes of transport, development of a sustainable habitat, target Zero pesticides in green spaces.
Labels : Child friendly town, Artisans du monde fair trade area
Because of its central position on the map of France, the ‘city of weapons and bicycles’ failed to be on the course of the Tour before the war, but then hosted it 22 times since 1950. Some big names triumphed there including the likes of Geminiani, Bobet, Hinault, Herrera or Zoetemelk. The last visit of the Tour to Saint-Etienne was back in 2008. After close to 130kms, breakaway companions Marcus Burghardt and Carlos Barredo battled it out in a final sprint to the line of stage 18. Advantage Burghardt!
Stage town for the 25th time
Population : 180,000 inhabitants (Stphanois), 400,000 inhabitants in the 45 communes of the agglomeration community of
Economy : 20,000 businesses, more than 50 world leading companies (Focal JMlab, number one in the world for high quality acoustics, Stronglight, make ultra-light cranksets for bikes, medical textiles), City of Design, point of reference in France, training of national excellence, 25,000 post-bac students
Culture : first Znith in the Rhne region ? Alpes, Museum of Modern Art (more than 19,000 works of which 1,500 design pieces, one of the largest collections in France of XIX, XX and XXI works), Site Le Corbusier (the larges turban site designed by Le Corbusier in Europe). Events: International Design Biennial (140,000 visitors in 2013), Words and Music Festival, Festival of books
Sport : AS Saint-tienne (football League 1, 10 championship titles in France, national record). Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in the process of renovation for Euro 2016
Specialities : Weiss chocolates, Franck Deville macaroons
Sustainable Development : VliVert (self service bikes), three tram lines
Proverb : Saint-tienne, Visionary workshop